Monday, August 19, 2013

Missionary Basketball

There's a video making its way through the internet right now of a couple of missionaries dominating a pickup basketball game.

I never experienced that kind of success as a missionary for a couple of reasons. First, I met every stereotype you'd assign to a white guy in a suit and tie on the basketball court. And second, I served in Slovenia--a part of the former Yugoslavia--where basketball was revered.

Now days, basketball stars are emerging from all over the world, but twenty years ago about the only place you'd find NBA-level basketball players outside the United States was from the countries that made up the former Yugoslavia. As a result, more often than not, it was us getting hustled on the court and not the other way around.

Ironically, Yugoslavia's basketball craze can be traced back to one Krešimir Ćosić--a basketball player from the 70s who was so good he came to the United States to play college ball. During his college career he was a two-time All-American and years after was the driving force behind his country's growing basketball success--first as a player and later as a coach. Oh, and the school he chose when he came to the States? BYU. Not only did he bring basketball to Yugoslavia, he also brought the church--having been converted while in Provo. So while it stunk to be continually beaten in basketball by the natives, we never could be too angry about it.

(Finally, here's another strip for your enjoyment.)


  1. Funny and informative. What a combination.

  2. Good comic. The Austrians never posessed the basketball skills of their slavic neighbors to the south, so my companions and I enjoyed several good routs on the court. It's a good thing for us missionaries aren't allowed to hit the ski slopes--we'd have been clobbered on their home turf.